Impact

Reporting Impact

Reporting Impact

Part of our responsibility to our donors after receiving a gift is to report back to them about what the donations they’ve entrusted to us have accomplished. We know they want to hear from us about the impact of their donations.

If we’re good at donor stewardship, we do this in multiple ways and in an ongoing fashion.  

  • We call our donors and say things like, “Hi! The tractors arrived on site today and started clearing for the new building and I was just thinking about you and how you’ve made this possible.
  • We invite them to our campuses and show them work in progress or programs in action.
  • We meet them for coffee and bring them pictures of something that happened last week that they wanted to see. 

Informally, the updates are regular.

But every once in a while, we do formal updates through Annual or Impact Reports as well.  As many of us plan this time of year to write and design our Annual or Impact Report, what should it convey?

Impact, Advocacy, and Board Responsibility

Impact, Advocacy, and Board Responsibility

With the publication last week of BoardSource’s updated Ten Basic Responsibilities of Board Members,  I’ve been thinking a lot about Crutchfield and Grant’s seminal Forces for Good book.  The Ten Basic Responsibilities of Board Members list of the core, fundamental, legal responsibilities of a Board member has been gospel for all of us for many years. Most of us have relied on this list to orient our board members and to explain board members’ responsibilities for new members.

When BoardSource changed this list last week, BoardSource didn’t make the number of items on the list longer, but what it did do is determine that ADVOCACY is a core responsibility of Board Members. The responsibility to advocate for the mission is added to the first core responsibility (to determine an organization's mission and purpose) and discussions of advocacy are added to several other responsibilities such as the responsibility to enhance an organization’s public standing.

Nonprofits Blocking Social Innovation? I don't Think So

Nonprofits Blocking Social Innovation? I don't Think So

The piece is really disappointing, but hardly surprising from a man who heralds the end of corporate social responsibility, arguing “traditional corporate philanthropy is considered an inappropriate use of capital, a distraction of time and resources from business activities” (Forbes, July 9, 2014).  His July piece in Forbes counsels businesses on how to exit the “business” of corporate social responsibility.

How sad to me that a business leader would have so little appreciation for our common human and environmental interconnectedness, so little appreciation for the stakes all corporations have in the planet and its populations.

But mostly, in suggesting that nonprofits don’t work, I wanted to laugh out loud and ask “How on earth do we know? How do we know what nonprofits are capable of?”  Have we ever really tried them?  I mean, REALLY tried them?